Financier Nat Rothschild has stepped down from the board of London-listed coal miner Bumi, saying he has lost confidence in the management’s ability to protect minority shareholders.
In a letter sent to chairman Samin Tam on 15 October, Rothschild, who controls 12% of Bumi, said: “It is my opinion ... that you are not trying to protect the interests of minority shareholders. Rather, I believe that you are complicit in their oppression.”
The resignation comes a week after the Indonesian Bakrie family, one of Bumi’s biggest shareholders, said it wanted to end its relationship with the London-listed company.
The Bakries offered to buy some of Bumi’s assets, including a number of Indonesia’s largest coal mines, in exchange for cash and the family’s 23.8% indirect stake in Bumi.
“It would be a disgrace to proceed with, or even to entertain, the proposal made by the Bakries,” Rothschild said in the letter.
Bumi’s board is currently investigating potential financial irregularities at Bumi Resources, a Bakrie family-controlled coal miner in which Bumi owns a 29% stake.
Rothschild seemed concerned that Bumi’s investors may find themselves linked to a company whose bad reputation is affecting its share price, and with no assets.
“You appear determined to drive through the Bakries’ proposal,” he added. “I believe that [this] is so obviously not in the interests of minority shareholders that I find it impossible to stay on as a director.”